Seniors carry the day in regular season home finale
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The University of New Mexico baseball team closed out their home slate of games for the 2019 season in winning fashion on Sunday afternoon as the Lobos held off UNLV for a 3-2 win out at Santa Ana Star Field.
In getting the win, the Lobos received a ton of help from several of the seniors on this year’s team.
Jared Mang and Jeff Deimling were responsible for the runs on Sunday with Mang reaching on a fielding error in the third for the Lobos’ first run of the game, and Deimling doubling home a pair of runs in the sixth. Sure-handed shortstop Hayden Schilling took care of a big 6-3 double play in the fifth to keep it a 1-0 game at the time, and Malachi Emond closed the door as he handled the final two innings of the game with only one hit allowed and three strikeouts.
The win was also a milestone for head coach Ray Birmingham as it was his 1,200th career win as a collegiate head baseball coach.
While seniors shined on Senior Day perhaps the biggest contribution the Lobos got on Sunday was from starting pitcher Nathaniel Garley. Having not pitched since April 28, Garley was sensational. He would work 6.2 innings and scattered four hits and four walks while striking out four. It was not until his final pitch of the game that the Rebels were able to crack the scoreboard off of Garley.
The two runs scored by the Rebels in the top of the seventh would be all UNLV would muster as the bullpen of the Lobos was lights out. Drew Marrufo drew the initial assignment and struck out the only batter he faced to end the seventh inning and kept it a one-run lead for the Lobos.
As mentioned earlier, Emond had the ball for the final two innings. After giving up a leadoff single in the eighth, Emond retired the next six batters in order to nail down his ninth save of the season. During the course of his outing, Emond also reached the 100-K mark for his career. Emond entered the game with 98 career strikeouts and the final out of the eighth was his 100th career strikeout. Emond added another strikeout in the ninth to give him three for the game, 45 on the season and 101 for his career.
The Lobos will now prepare to hit the road for their final regular season series at San Diego State. The three-game series with the Aztecs will begin on Thursday night with a scheduled first-pitch of 7 p.m. (MT).